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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Countdown is On: A FREEBIE and an Announcement!

Hi there! Remember me? 

My name is Halle.  I teach 2nd Grade.


Seriously. I have been so absent.

It’s mostly because we are house hunting. Still. Still!

We found a house.  It was the perfect house for us. The papers were printed. All we had to do was go to work, then come to sign the papers.  I made sure to bring home my favorite work pen.

Then we got outbid. And we couldn't bid any higher.

I’m not exaggerating when I say it was tragic.  That was almost 3 weeks ago and I still get sick if I really think about it. I know, I know everything happens for a reason, but the little house that almost was seemed like it was built just for us.  Well, it was built before we were born, but that doesn’t count. It was still built with us in mind.

Then a few days ago we thought we found a pretty decent runner-upper.  Until we found out this morning that it’s under contract.

This is hard people! What happened to the buyer’s market?!!!!

We come home from work {which, as you know, is exhausting the last few weeks} and then we either go out looking at houses with our realtor, or I waste hours upon hours on Trulia and Zillow, then Trulia, then Zillow, then Trulia…

I am so ready to find a house, and I hope it happens SOON, and that is the end of that story…

Now, on to other important news.

We have 15 days left.  Yes 15. Our last day is on a Monday. I know, right?!?!?
Luckily, this week should go by pretty quickly.  We’re off today, and we have our field trip tomorrow {I know, poor planning on our part}. 

Last year, I was inspired by The Teacher Wife to do a balloon countdown the last week or so of school.  We had such fun with it, that I am so excited to do it again this year,only bigger and better!
Click the pictures to grab them if you’d like, or check out The Teacher Wife’s here.

Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but let me elaborate on a few, will you?

For Lemonade Day, we’ll be doing activities from my friend Aimee’s packet.

I am so excited to do the activities from this packet with my kiddos.  Read all about the activities included in this unit here.

For Bubble Day, we’ll be using a few activities from Abby’s packet:

This looks so stinkin’ adorable.  I might be more excited than my second graders will be.

For Silly Seating Day the kids will be able to put their desks wherever they want in the room! I’m sure that will be very interesting and not at all a fire hazard. {I kid, I wouldn’t let that happen!}

For RACK Day, we’ll be committing some “random acts of classroom kindness” which we did a lot of around Christmas.  I plan on doing some baking and letting the kids write notes to various staff members and deliver our goodies. You know smiles and fuzzy feelings all around!

I think you can figure out the rest.  If you’re still in school like I am, I strongly suggest some sort of countdown.  If not for the kids, for your own sanity.  As much as I love my kiddos, these last few weeks can DRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG.

And now to my announcement:

I am going to be hosting a weekly summer linky party!!! {I hope you weren’t expecting something more exciting…because I think this is pretty exciting!}

Linky Graphic 1

I really, really…really, really… hope you’ll join up from week to week to share your favorite things!  There’s really no rules, just let us know your favorite things in each category so we can all find new favorite things. Yay!!!

I created a schedule of sorts for those of you who like to plan ahead:

Favorite Things Linky Schedule

It starts NEXT Thursday! I hope to see you there!

Enjoy your Memorial Day and remember to take time to thank those who defend our country and remember those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. God Bless America!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Our Student Teacher

I’ve mentioned a few times on here that our little classroom was blessed with an incredible student teacher this year.  Miss T, as we’ll call her, was with us since September as part of her graduate student teaching program.  I felt so lucky to have such a creative and like-minded person essentially team-teaching with me almost all year long.
So, when it was time to bid Miss T good-bye last week we wanted to make sure we made it extra special.  I had lots of help from my wonderful room moms and of course all of our kiddos.

going away
{from Miss T's instagram}

Miss T was out one day about 2 weeks before her experience ended for a mandatory job fair put on by her college.  We took advantage of that day to make her a scrap book.  I gave each student 3 pieces of paper.  One was to draw Miss T {we spent lots of time describing her and talking about accurate drawings}, another was to write down some advice for when Miss T has her own class, and the third was to write a letter to Miss T.  I encouraged them to thank her and wish her good luck or to share a favorite memory, but overall I left it largely up to them.  That day I collected their papers and took them home to assemble a scrap book for Miss T.


{edited from Miss T's instagram}

About a month ago another teacher {can’t remember who…sorry!!} posted a picture of an item she liked on Etsy.  It was a quote about teaching and hidden within the quote were the names of the teacher’s students.  I decided to give it a shot for Miss T.  I found a quote I liked, came up with a layout and inserted each student's name into the text.


{can you see their little names?}

Love it!  Is it wrong to print one up for my own desk?

After Miss T opened her gifts we chowed down!  Once of my room moms had the idea of a finger food party {can we say “best idea ever!!!!!!”?}.  We munched on Chik-Fil-A nuggets, pulled pork sliders, cocktail wieners {hehehe}, chips and cheese, and fruit.  So darn good!

For dessert my head room mom had the cutest sugar cookies made.  We almost didn’t eat them…almost!


Adorable, right?!!!!

Of course we took about a zillion pictures that I wish I could show you!

It’s been a very weird week without our Miss T but I'll be calling her in for reinforcement we’ll be seeing her for our field trip in a few short weeks! 

Have you ever had an awesome student teacher?  How did you send him/her off?  I’m always looking for new ideas!

Have a good night!

PS: I HAVE to mention that she got me the best cooperating teacher present EVER! A Pandora bracelet! I've been wanting one forever and the Mr. hadn't picked up on my subtle hints I guess.  I am LOVING it! I'll post a picture soon!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Write About It Wednesday: Narrative Mentor Texts

It's time for another amazing Write About It Wednesday!

This week's topic is...

Mentor Texts for Teaching Narrative Writing

Can you imagine teaching writing without using them??

So this week, we've decided to highlight some of our favorite mentor texts and share what lesson topics we use them for!

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
  • Small Moments 
  • Characters

Tough Boris by Mem Fox

  • Words that Paint a Picture
  • Characters

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
  • Interesting Opening
  • Small Moments
  • Description

Thundercake by Patricia Polacco
  • Interesting Opening
  • Setting
  • Word Choice

Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey
  • Voice {I read this book without showing pictures to my students first}
  • Sequencing

The Pain and The Great One by Judy Blume
  • Point of View/Perspective
  • Characters
Do you know and love any of these books? We'd love to hear about it!

And don't forget about the gigantic, even-more-amazing TpT Sale happening right now!

If you've still got some teaching to do this year, better snag some of your favorite goodies!

I hope you found this idea helpful! Link up with us and share your favorite mentor texts for narrative writing!

If you link up be sure to… 
*be a follower of both of our blogs.
*use the provided button {just save the image above and link it back here, or provide a link in the picture caption}.
*link to a post related to today’s topic.
*make sure you link to the specific post and not just your blog.

Thanks for playing along! Don’t forget to check out Kate's post on the same topic!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fabulous Feedback- I Appreciate You!

Oh gosh…it’s been soooo long since I’ve stopped by to offer up anything productive.  We’re just so darn busy in the Hird household that I can’t keep up.

Long story short, the Mr. was out of town, we had some birthdays, a few softball games {him, not me}…and…we’re house hunting!!! And it’s taken over my life.  I’m checking a gazillion real estate apps a day and trying not to email our realtor every second of every day.  So far we haven’t been too successful so I expect the novelty of house hunting to wear off real soon here…it’s already getting on my nerves! 

Good thing you guys are one of my number one stress relievers!  In all seriousness, sweet comments on the blog and kind, informative feedback in my TpT store really does a gal good.  That’s why quite a few of my bloggy buddies and I are linking up to share some of our favorite feedback.  It’s basically a shout-out to our favorite shoppers, but it’s also a way for the rest of you to get a good look at how our products work in teachers’ classrooms all around the world!

Before we get started, here are a few things you should know:
1} Click the picture to head to TpT to learn more about the product being described.
2} Starting tomorrow, and continuing through Wednesday, TpT is having a sitewide sale.  Many sellers are putting their stores on sale on top of that so you can save up to 28% Tuesday and Wednesday!
3} I think this is the BEST PART.  If I featured your feedback you can pick ANY ITEM from my store for FREE!  Just take a look-see around and email your choice {}  How fun is that?!?!?!

Ok, here we go…my most loved products…chose by you!


Thank you MollyJack! 

My Reading Comprehension Packs are definitely my biggest labor of love to date.  I write every single passage myself and it’s not easy but I have buyers asking for the next edition almost immediately after I put one out.  Plus, I use these in my classroom ALL THE TIME.  I wouldn’t be able to get through a week without them.  Clicking the picture will take you to the newest edition {uploaded last night}, but there are links to the other editions in the product description.

PS: Grab a free comprehension sheet by downloading the preview!


No, thank you, lindalouhoo!  You always leave such great feedback!  I love this unit because it’s designed to let me teach friendly letter writing and types of communities at the same time!  And my kiddos have had a blast the last two years I’ve used it!


Okay, hands down, Jenna wins best feedback.  She always leaves thoughtful and useful feedback for my products.  I know other sellers feels the same way as well!  I could’ve picked her for almost every product, but I thought I’d spread the wealth!  We’re using these literacy centers in my room right now and my kiddos are just loving them!


Thank you bigt for your kind words!

My store basically started with my Back to School Mega Book Pack and I haven’t looked back.  I’m currently working on an End of The Year Book Pack, updating my Back to School Book Pack, and creating a Bully Book Pack.  All of my book packs have comprehension sheets and writing prompts, and they all include craftivities as well!  Love me some craftivities!

Thank you tlhusted!

My class loved this Holidays Around the World Pack!! It’s filled with mini interactive readers, extension sheets, passports and stamps.  We had SO MUCH FUN with it this year!
Remember, to learn more about any of the products I have pictured here just click their picture.  If you like them as much as other buyers did, add them to your cart and wait till Tuesday’s sale to save some moola on them!

I also added a Mother’s Day craftivity to my store for those of you who are last minute like I am!


Click the pictures to grab from TpT!

Thanks so much for reading friends! I hope those of you that left feedback were able to spot it so you can earn a free item from my store.  Link up below to find more awesome sellers and read some of their best feedback.  What a great way to find some items to put in your cart!

And remember, the TpT Teacher Appreciation Sale starts TOMORROW!

Thanks Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah for the cutest graphic ever!

Happy Shopping!